I knew in the 4th grade that I was placed on earth to be a teacher. At the end of the school year, I would carry a box around to all of the elementary teachers and ask for their leftover mimeograph (yeah, the purple stuff) worksheets. I would tote the box home 2 blocks and have a plethora of worksheets for every grade, every level and every discipline. I was differentiating back then! When my mom made us take a nap everyday in the summer, I would open my window, push out the screen and teach all of the children in the neighborhood! This went on for a long time. I even taught non-school age children. One day, my mom caught me and school had to have a new time schedule.
I started getting paid to teach 32 years ago and still love what I do! My first year in teaching, I was with some really mean, jealous, veteran teachers who made fun of me for smiling all day… “You get a few years in this business and you won’t be smiling like that anymore.” I told them, “If I’m not smiling, then I will go get a job I love.” They also made fun of my wearing heels to school, so you can imagine all the other things they said to me. They were mean bullies and I cried all the way home everyday, but I lived through the first year of teaching with no mentor and no help. Yes, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger…” plus “I remember that and help newbies as much as possible!”
It’s important to not only help the students become readers, but to keep teachers in the loop with new literature. My teachers are really good about taking advice about what they should read next. It’s great that the students see the teachers with “outside” reading material on their desks. That goes back to modeling the positive outcomes that you are trying to reinforce with students.
I also ask teachers what they are teaching next and find new material to help them or take their notes and put them into PowerPoint or Prezi. Things they don’t have time to do.
Ipads are a new teaching tool that our school just received and the teachers are exploring the Apps, so I tell them about ones that will help them with their classes. Whatever I can do to make their teaching world easier, I do it.
Today I am going to leave you with; “If you are not making a positive impact in your school with students and peers, it might be time to retire.”